HSBC Holdings plc is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's fourth largest bank by total assets, with total assets of US$2.67 trillion. It was established in its present form in London in 1991 by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited to act as a new group holding company. The origins of the bank lie mainly in Hong Kong and to a lesser extent in Shanghai, where branches were first opened in 1865. The HSBC name is derived from the initials of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The company was first formally incorporated in 1866. The company continues to see both the United Kingdom and Hong Kong as its "home markets".
HSBC has around 6,600 offices in 80 countries and territories across Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, North America and South America, and around 60 million customers. As of 2014, it was the world's sixth-largest public company, according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine.
HSBC is organised within four business groups: Commercial Banking; Global Banking and Markets (investment banking); Retail Banking and Wealth Management; and Global Private Banking.
HSBC has a dual primary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the Hang Seng Index and the FTSE 100 Index. As of 6 July 2012 it had a market capitalisation of £102.7 billion, the second-largest company listed on the London Stock Exchange, after Royal Dutch Shell. It has secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext Paris and the Bermuda Stock Exchange.
In February 2015 the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released information about the business conduct of HSBC under the title Swiss Leaks. The ICIJ alleges that the bank profited from doing business with tax evaders and other clients. BBC reported that HSBC had put pressure on media not to report about the controversy, with British newspaper The Guardian claiming HSBC advertising had been put "on pause" after The Guardian's coverage of the matter. Peter Oborne, chief political commentator at The Daily Telegraph resigned from the paper; in an open letter he claimed the newspaper suppressed negative stories and dropped investigations into HSBC because of the bank's advertising. (Source: Wikipedia)